Why/How Is Savion Glover Like the Pied Piper?

September 23, 2009

People willingly follow him to far off rhythmic places. First he communes the musicians, one at a time. Last night he spent more with the drummer, tonight more with the pianist. He gets in such a deep groove that it seems it’ll last forever, but then it grows and expands and becomes something more irregular and exciting. We are his kinetic followers.

Sometimes I feel like he makes elaborate dances out of Restless Leg Syndrome. Other times he whips himself into a childish joy, and still other times he seems to be basking in the sun. At all times, you wonder how so many clear sounds can come from a pair of feet that seem to be not doing much.

Tonight at Fall for Dance, during one span of time he was vibrating his right leg superfast but quiet and for so long it was like a hummingbird in flight. It was one of the most virtuosic things he did, and yet no one clapped like they do for a more rousing sequence. It was so small I wonder if people further away could even see it. But I could not believe how long and steady he kept it up. Breath-taking things like that shot through the whole piece.

Of course the unison section with two other tappers is smashing. It’s got such a strong and complicated rhythm, and yet they all stick together.

At the end, he builds to an almost unbearable pitch, and then the lights and sound suddenly cut out. The audience goes WILD.